Interview by Jana Letonja

American actor Christopher Briney is best known for his role in Amazon Prime’s series ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’, which released its second season on the 14th of July. Next up, he’ll be starring in Paramount+’s ‘Mean Girls: The Musical’.

Christopher, you’re starring as one of the leads in Amazon Prime’s ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’. Tell us more about how you got cast on this popular series.

First of all, I got really lucky and was in the right place at the right time. I submitted a self-tape for the role and then tried my best to move on with my life and let it go as I try and do with every audition I have. It’s important to let those things go, but for some reason, they called me back to hop on Zoom with Jenny and the casting team and some producers and then called me back another time for a chemistry read. And for some reason, they offered me the role after that. If I ever find out why, I’ll let you know.

The series just premiered its second season. What can the viewers expect from this upcoming season?

Viewers can expect a lot of different things. I think the tone shifts pretty starkly from what the first season felt like. It has more colors for characters to explore. Fans of the books can expect some nods and scenes from the second book. One thing that I’m really excited for is people meeting the new characters. Skye and Aunt Julia are introduced this season and I loved working with them, so I’m excited for people to love them.

In ‘The Summer I Turned Pretty’, you portray Conrad, one of Belly’s best friends, who she is being caught in a love triangle with. What do you find the most exciting about the story we get to see unfold in the series?

I think what excites me most about the story is how Conrad gets to be this sort of vehicle of grief and anxiety. He’s young and he feels things very strongly and it is exciting as an actor to be able to explore these really complex emotions and try my very best to do it in an honest way. It’s been hard, but it is something universal and relatable and I enjoy the challenge of it all.

Do you find any similarities between yourself and Conrad?

There are definitely some similarities between me and Conrad. He reminds me a lot of myself when I was his age. I’ve had the luxury of growing up a little more than he has and I’ve been able to explore myself for longer than he has, so I’ve had the opportunity to grow past some of my insecurities and the anxieties that Conrad might be dealing with. I feel like I’ve known him before if that makes sense.

You moved to New York to pursue acting. How would you describe the road to getting where you are today in your career?

This is another place where I just have to express how fortunate and lucky I feel. I graduated college in 2020 and started working about a year later and it is just the most absurd thing. I don’t know what I did in a past life to deserve any type of a career, but I wake up every day feeling really fortunate to be working. I have a lot of friends who are actors and are much more talented than I am, so I just feel like I’ve been so lucky.

Your parents are both actors. How has their career impacted your interest in acting?

I think what impacted me most growing up was the exposure to art that was encouraged by them. Whether I was totally aware of it or not, they were exposing me to theater and music and films from a very young age. Being saturated in an environment like that is probably what ended up pushing me towards this path. They both stopped trying to act professionally when my sister was born, but they never stopped loving art and doing more local productions of things.

What excites you the most about being able to portray all these different characters and getting to step into their shoes?

I love being part of something bigger than me. A story, a world that is expansive and complicated. I like being a little cog in that machine. I like stretching myself as an actor to fit those worlds. And all I can hope is to continue to get the opportunity to do that in other worlds and other stories with more people’s visions than I have already had the opportunity to be a part of. 

What are some of your other passions, besides acting?

I love making movies. I really want to start taking time to direct. It is something I’ve loved doing for a long time and I want to do it on a more professional level. I also love taking pictures. I don’t go anywhere without my camera and I’m always taking pictures of my friends, people I think are interesting, and things like that. That’s a more selfish one, I don’t really have many plans to share all of those, but I like to have them. 

Acting kind of goes hand in hand with fashion. What is your relationship with fashion like?

I’m such an admirer in this world. I don’t think I have the best eye for dressing myself and putting things together, but I really enjoy it. When my stylist picks something really cool for me to wear, I get a lot of joy out of wearing beautiful things. Also, I got to go to some fashion week shows earlier in the year, and seeing that up close was a really powerful thing. It is such an art form. 

Next up, we’ll be seeing you in Paramount+’s ‘Mean Girls: The Musical’. What can you share with us about it? 

I had such a blast working on ‘Mean Girls: The Musical’. I really felt like I was surrounded by this massively talented group of people doing what they do best. I felt really lucky to be in the room while they did their thing. I had so many moments of awe while watching everybody work on that movie. I think it will be really good. 

Talent: Christopher Briney @chrisbriney_
Photographer: Dennis Leupold @dennisleupold 
Stylist: Oretta Corbelli @orettac
Producer: Kevin Leupold @kevinleupold
Styling assistant: Francesca Salis @frassy.sassy 
Groomer: Sonia Lee @sonialeeartistry
Editor: Timi Letonja @timiletonja
Cover design: Arthur Roeloffzen @arthurroeloffzen
Interview by Jana Letonja @janaletonja